Everyone wants to beat the best. For No. 1 Braintree and No. 18 Fontbonne, both came in unbeaten and with extra motivation in the matchup.
Fontbonne held the ball at the end of the game, but it was the Lady Wamps who held on to their perfect season, defeating the Ducks, 54-31, Wednesday in Braintree.
Second-half adjustments and sophomore guard Ashley Russell’s 13 second-half points led the Wamps to their ninth straight victory. It was a defensive battle from the start with a playoff-like atmosphere. Both teams took strong defensive measure, forcing turnovers and keeping each other from getting set on offense.
“Credit Fontbonne. They made us have to adjust right from the start,” said Braintree coach Kristen McDonnell. “We adjusted throughout the game, especially in the second half. We tried to bring more players out toward the perimeter and work high-low from there.”
The Wamps (9-0) opened up the second by forcing the Ducks (8-1) into three straight turnovers, and Russell scored the first 6 points to put her team ahead, 26-13.
“This was a big game for us,’’ Russell said. “We’ve been preparing for it for awhile because we knew Fontbonne was a very good team, so at halftime, [coach] was telling us to keep it up because she wanted us to win.”
Fontbonne center Jen Gemma came in as the Ducks’ leading scorer, but the Wamps clogged the middle, forcing the senior captain out of her comfort zone.
“She’s very quick for a post player,’’ McDonnell said. “Our whole thing was to play physical with her and keep her from diving down to the block and force her to take outside shots.”
Beaver Country Day 45, Lexington Christian 38 — The Beavers’ Kaila Duarte scored 15 points and had 14 rebounds.
Ursuline 54, Lowell Catholic 27 — The Bears were led by sophomore Morgan O'Donnell, who netted 21 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and blocked 5 shots.
South Boston 45, Brighton 23 — Knights freshman Jocelyn Harris led all scorers with 21 points.
Westford 56, Bedford 46 — Christina Nowak led the Gray Ghosts (5-3) with 17 points.
Whitman-Hanson 37, Plymouth North 33 — Marina Kelly had 16 points and five rebounds to boost the Panthers.
Lynn English 36, Danvers 32 — The No. 14 Bulldogs (7-2) survived behind junior forward Makayla Everette’s 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Bourne 55, Falmouth 44 — The Canalmen (9-0) were led by Chelsea Doucette (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Brie Girouard (17 points, 10 rebounds).
Bishop Fenwick 39, Medford 33 — The Crusaders (7-3) were led in scoring by senior Rose Fantozzi, who had 12 points.
Revere 49, Gloucester 35 — Senior forward Caitlin Caramelo recorded 14 points and 23 rebounds to power the Patriots (6-3). Senior guard Gena Restiano added 15 points.
New Mission 68, East Boston 44 — Isshiah Coleman had 14 points and 14 rebounds to lead the No. 14 Titans (6-3).
Danvers 90, Lynn English 70 — The No. 5 Falcons (7-0) won thanks to Nick McKenna’s 23 points and Eric Martin’s 13 points and nine assists.
Pentucket 58, Georgetown 48 — Senior guard Jake Chory notched a team-high 15 points to lead the Sachems (2-4).
Beverly 66, Swampscott 65 — Cam Rogers (20 points and 10 rebounds) drilled the winning foul line fadeaway jumper in overtime to lift the Panthers (6-2).
Peabody 58, Winthrop 53 — Sophomore guard Matt Correale netted 16 points to lead the Tanners (3-5).
Reading 2, Arlington 0 — Brian Shea’s first-period goal, which was assisted by Mike Thompson and Jake Barbera, was enough as the fifth-ranked Rockets (7-1-1) beat the No. 13 Spy Ponders. Connor Frazier added an empty-net goal late in the third period and goalie Evan Morelli had 20 saves.
Arlington Catholic 4, Matignon 2 — Brendon O'Connell, Aaron Cook, DJ George, and Zach Blanch scored for the No. 7 Cougars.
Austin Prep 4, Central Catholic 2 — Jake McKennelley netted the winning goal with just over five minutes left to help the No. 14 Cougars (4-1-2) come back from an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the third-ranked Raiders (5-2-1). Nolan Vesey had a pair of goals and Robert Carpenter added a goal in the win.
Lynn Classical 7, Revere 1 — Tony Uva had two goals and two assists for the Jets (5-2).
Somerville 5, Cambridge 2 — Junior center Dan Camara notched a goal and three assists for the Highlanders.
Beverly 5, Gloucester 1 — The No. 15 Panthers (8-0) were led by junior centers Graham Doherty (two goals, one assist) and Connor Irving (one goal, two assists).
Weymouth 6, Brookline 2 — Junior Pat Coleman’s three goals fueled the Wildcats (5-4).
Lowell 4, Latin Academy 1 — Dragons goalie Shane Finn recorded 51 saves in a loss to the Red Raiders (6-0-1).
Wakefield 5, Wilmington 1 — Gabrella Moscato had a pair of goals and an assist for the Warriors (2-4-2).
Lexington 4, Winchester 0 — Jackie Denning scored all four of the goals for the Minutemen (4-2-1) and Amanda Charlton picked up the shutout in net.
Reading 3, Arlington 2 — The seventh-ranked Rockets (7-0-1) were victorious behind freshman Ali O'Leary’s three goals.
Arlington Catholic 2, Ursuline 1 — Freshman Mickey McLaughlin netted the winning goal for the Cougars.
Canton 3, Medway 1 — Freshman Mary Nee netted two goals to lift the Bulldogs (7-1).
Wellesley 4, Milton 3 — Molly Connolly led the Raiders (7-0-1) with two goals and one assist.
Westford 6, Waltham 0 — Ali DiFonzo scored a pair of goals for the Grey Ghosts (6-0).
Shawsheen 8, Peabody 1 — Freshman left wing Sarah King scored four goals to power the Rams (3-5-1).
StandingsThe Globe will begin winter standings calls Sunday. League representatives can call with scoring leaders between 1 and 6 p.m. at either 617-929-2860, 2861, or 3235. Our toll free number is 800-232-2860. Scoring leaders can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.